Today, after more than 2,000 years of the Christian Church, most parts of worldwide Protestantism lie in a veritable depression, The symptoms? Deep resignation, self-centredness, and the absence of growth. Other symptoms include churches that seem to be at a standstill in spite of hectic activity, alarming burnout rates (especially of the “good leaders”), a need to cling to the old and trusted, idolizing and even worshipping tradition, and seeking security and identity in denominationalism or religious confessionals. We often see the result of this in what could be called “a vicarious revival” – an attempt to partake in other people’s breakthroughs by copying their spiritual experiences and pragmatic how-to methods.
It seems that this depressed state represents a Christianity that God has pulled the plug on – but no one has yet noticed. There is the story of the Korean pastor visiting the west for the first time. After being shown around for some time, this pastor finally exclaimed, “It’s amazing what you people can do without the Holy Spirit.” We need to stop consuming – and start learning.
Martin Luther spoke of a Babylonian captivity of the church, and it appears that the majority of the church is still captive, after centuries of breaking every rule in God’s Book, preferring human traditions over apostolic patterns, and literally celebrating the absence of any biblical order as if doing so were freedom.
But this unfortunate set of circumstances is changing as a result of a huge initiative of God’s Spirit. Those people who echo what the Spirit is saying to the churches are beginning to get restless and are starting to move. It’s time to get back to our roots and return to a genuine, apostolic and prophetic understanding of the Christian faith. This call has gripped the hearts and minds of millions, and today it lies at the centre of the present realignment and reconfiguration of the church. It has begun.
A global spiritual migration usually happens in phases and it is a bit like moving from one mountain peak to another. From Peak B (Babylon), we have a great view of Peak P (prophetic-apostolic Christianity). Though it looks like you can almost touch one peak from the other, you can’s move from B to P easily. You must embark on an often difficult decent from one mountaintop, and then ascend an entirely different mountain. Not everyone is willing to make the journey. Not everyone who tries will succeed.